By Jenny Nguyen, CPT | Updated: Apr 18, 2024

The Essential Role Phlebotomists Play in the Future of Healthcare

nurse about to begin drawing blood from right arm of patient.

Phlebotomists are an essential part of the healthcare industry, playing a crucial role in obtaining blood samples for diagnostic testing, research purposes, and blood transfusions. As the healthcare industry continues to expand and the population ages, the demand for phlebotomists is expected to rise significantly in the next ten years. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of phlebotomists has become even more apparent, with their critical role in collecting blood samples for testing and other essential diagnostic procedures.

Let’s explore the top ten reasons why phlebotomists are needed in the next ten years, highlighting the critical role they play in the future of healthcare.

Aging Population

The general aging population is increasing, and this requires more medical attention, leading to a higher demand for phlebotomists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the healthcare industry will add roughly two million jobs by 2031, with phlebotomy being one of the fastest-growing professions.

Growing Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is expanding rapidly, driven by advancements in medical technology, an aging population, and an increase in chronic diseases. With this expansion comes an increased need for clinical laboratory testing, a critical component of modern healthcare. Phlebotomists are essential to this process, as they are responsible for drawing blood samples from patients, which are then used for laboratory testing. These tests are used to diagnose and monitor diseases, guide treatment decisions, and evaluate patient outcomes. As the healthcare industry continues to expand, the need for skilled phlebotomists will only increase, making it a promising career path for those interested in the healthcare field.

Rise in Chronic Disease

The rise in chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease has significant implications for the healthcare industry and highlights the need for qualified phlebotomists. Chronic diseases are long-term health conditions that require ongoing medical management, including regular diagnostic testing and monitoring. As the prevalence of chronic diseases continues to increase, the demand for blood tests and diagnostic procedures will rise accordingly.

Phlebotomists play a crucial role in obtaining blood samples for laboratory testing, which is essential for diagnosing and monitoring chronic diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6 in 10 adults in the US have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 have two or more.

Advancements in Medical Technology

The advancement of medical technologies has revolutionized the healthcare industry, leading to significant demand for trained phlebotomists. These medical technologies require the use of blood samples for research, testing, and the development of new treatments and medications. Obtaining blood samples from patients is a critical step in this process and requires skilled phlebotomists who can collect, label, and transport blood samples to laboratories for analysis.

Expansion of Telemedicine

The expansion of telemedicine has created a growing need for remote diagnostic testing, including blood tests. While patients may receive medical care remotely, they may still require blood tests to diagnose or monitor a condition, or to ensure the safety and efficacy of medications. This has led to an increased demand for phlebotomists who can collect blood samples from patients in a remote or at-home setting.

Several telemedicine companies, such as Teladoc and Doctor on Demand, have recognized the importance of remote blood testing and have incorporated it into their services. For example, Doctor on Demand has partnered with Quest Diagnostics to provide at-home blood tests for their patients. This partnership enables patients to receive medical care from the comfort of their own homes while still being able to undergo necessary diagnostic testing.

Learn more about Levels Metabolic Health Panel as an example of why trained phlebotomists are essential to fulfill this responsibility.

Increased Patient Safety

The World Health Organization recognizes the important role that phlebotomists play in ensuring patient safety through proper blood collection practices. According to the WHO, “phlebotomy is an essential diagnostic procedure in healthcare, and ensuring quality and safety in this process is of utmost importance.” By adhering to proper protocols and safety measures, phlebotomists can help prevent the transmission of infections and reduce the risk of errors, ultimately promoting better patient outcomes.

Improved Healthcare Quality

Phlebotomists play an important role in ensuring that healthcare quality and patient outcomes are improved. Accurate and timely blood test results obtained by skilled phlebotomists can provide healthcare providers with crucial information to diagnose and treat various medical conditions.

For instance, the results of blood tests can help healthcare providers to detect diseases such as diabetes, anemia, and cancer at an early stage, which can lead to better treatment outcomes. Moreover, by providing accurate blood samples, phlebotomists help healthcare providers to avoid errors in diagnosis and treatment, which can lead to adverse patient outcomes.

Direct from the ASCP website, “ASCP supports the development and maintenance of high quality practice standards for laboratory testing to assure patient safety and reduce medical errors associated with laboratory medicine.”